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Hiyayako - Fresh tofu with ginger and scallions
Grilled Chicken in a soy mirin marinade
Stir-fried zucchini with garlic and ginger
Watermelon or any summer fruit
Cold barley tea
During the week, lunch has become our biggest meal of the day. But this meal can be served as a casual supper, too. The Hiyayako is a classic Japanese starter. It's wonderfully refreshing on a hot day. This tofu comes from Meiji Tofu in Torrance. They make it fresh everyday. The best way to eat tofu when it's this fresh is cold and straight, with a little grated ginger and sliced onions. That's all. The ginger and green onions are classic medicinal condiments that aid in digestion. Pour a little soy sauce on top, and you have a beautifull starter! If this is too plain, you can slice some tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado or steamed okura, and serve them next to the tofu. Hiyayako can take place of a salad.
Grilled boneless chicken legs and stir fried zucchinni
I love this Grilled chicken dish. I make it at least once a week. You can serve it right off the broiler or grill or serve it at room temperature. It's a no brainer. Take some boneless chicken legs. Yes, legs, not breast. Legs have more flavor. You can leave or keep the skin on. Make a few slits on the meat side and lightly season it with salt and pepper. The marinade is equal parts soy sauce and mirin. You can add a teaspoon of ginger juice (grated from fresh ginger) if you like. Heat the grill and start with the meat side down. After 3-4 minutes, begin basting the meat. Turn it over and brown the other side, basting frequently. Grill until the chicken is brown and juicy.
If you are using the broiler, you can start with the skin side down, and cook the meat for a few minutes until it turns a little brown. Baste it 2-3 times until the meat is cooked 2/3 of the way. Then flip it once to the other side, and baste with marinade and broil until the skin of the chicken is brown and juicy.
Rice made in a donabe rice cooker
I recently moved my electric rice cooker to our ranch in Tehachapi, so when I am in Pasadena, I only cook rice in the donabe rice cooker. I love the way the rice comes out in the donabe. I am thinking of taking one of the two donabe's that I own to the ranch, and use it there, too.
Some slices of watermelon or some fresh summer fruit is a nice way to end this meal.